Wugularr proves that community licensed venues can work!

Date: Jan 18, 2023

Publication Type: Blog

Subject: Newspaper

Recently the Wugularr (Beswick) community celebrated the grand opening of a new community bistro, made possible through the local store’s community benefit fund.

Wugularr’s new bistro is a family-friendly dining area, seating 80 people inside and a further 170 people outside and is an extension of the existing Beswick Club, now refurbished and located on the site of the former store.

Chair of the Wuduluk Progress Aboriginal Corporation, Peter Lindsay, proudly welcomed locals and visitors to the new bistro.

“It has always been a dream of the directors to renovate the old store and create a place for families to enjoy. I couldn’t wait to show everybody. It’s something that will last a long time. We’re all proud of it,” Mr Lindsay said. 

Peter Lindsay standing in the new bistro with an image of the old layout

The grand opening included a barbeque and jumping castles, a bunggul (traditional dance ceremony), and a ribbon-cutting by traditional owners Rayleen Bulumbara and “Tango” Frankie Lane.

Mr Lindsay outlined the community store’s journey from voluntary administration to working with Outback Stores and then making a profit.

“We saw changes straight away, with fresh produce and grocery shelves full. The store was making a profit, paying the bills, paying the local staff and banking some money,” said Mr Lindsay.

Outback Stores started providing retail services to Beswick in 2008, when the store was recording losses. The past 14 years saw the store rise out of administration and build up its financial position to allow for annual distributions to the community, as well as for the construction of the Beswick Bistro.

The Beswick Club has been in operation since 2012. The region’s police believe that this locally-owned licensed venue provides an invaluable service to the community.